How long does it usually take before a franchise begins making money?
This is a very important question to ask, but one that is so hard to answer, and the reasons are many.
First, very few franchisors provide “earnings claims” in their offering circulars. (Less than 25% to the best of my knowledge.) And of course, the earnings claim is the franchisor’s statement of how “certain” numbers of franchised units have performed over time. With some form of earnings claim, a pro forma is at least approachable when developing a trial business plan.
Second, with or without earnings claims, information gleaned from current operators might serve as a type of earnings claim, but even so, it is ones best “guess” as to their individual future performance.
Third, and granted, this is my own bias, if one does not love the business, then even good earnings can make each day a burden. I’ve always chosen businesses that I liked and figured that if I was happy at work then the money would come. At least it works for me. And by the way, here’s a program to help decide which brand of entrepreneurship might be right for you.